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MATATO connects with Indian travel agents to increase tourist arrivals to Maldives

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A destination showcase for Maldives was hosted in Mumbai branded as Maldivian Night organised by the Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO).

Abdulla Ghiyaz Riyaz, president, MATATO spoke exclusively to Express TravelWorld about the purpose of MATATO and the event. “MATATO is an non-government organisation and through this event we hope to connect travel agencies, airlines, travel partners, etc. Previously we used to be a part of travel trade shows and we decided that it’s now time to hold an exclusive event that is completely focussed on our association and Maldives as a whole. The theme of the event is a Maldivian Night and through this we want to have direct talks with the Indian travel industry and strenghten the bond.”

In association with MATATO, Sri Lankan airlines is the airline partner along with Banyan Tree, Ayada, Inner Maldives Holidays, Jumeriah Maldives, Soneva and Sun Siyam.

Commenting further on this, Salva Ahmed, manager, operation, MATATO said, “Previously there were a couple of high end resorts in Maldives. But now to make it easily accessible to the budget travellers, we have started the concept of guesthouses which will welcome more and more Indian travellers into Maldives. To raise awareness about the various products Maldives offers, we organise around 14 roadshows in the country and also have several PR firms across India.”

Udeni Perera, manager of Western India, SriLankan Airlines emphasised its support with this association, “With the arrival of neo aircrafts we hope to smoothen the travel of Indian travellers to Maldives. With over 140 flights per week, we are sure that the number of Indian tourist arrivals will double by this coming year.”

Currently having somewhere around 83,000 arrivals, the number is expected to grow to 100,000 arrivals.

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